The House of Representatives Tuesday moved to stop the Commercialization of the Nigerian Navy. The resolution of the House was sequel to the passage of a motion by a member, Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma with the title: “Urgent Need to Stop the Commercialisation of the Nigerian Navy By Shorefac Consortium Limited and Others for the Purpose of Crude Oil and Liquefied Natural Gas Diversion to Global Destinations which Undermine Nigerian’s National Security.”
The green chamber resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the arrangement for a business model between the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Navy and Shorefac Consortium Ltd and others on the so-called commercialization of the Nigerian Navy.
The committee is to report back to the House within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
The lawmakers also urged the Ministry of Defence to stop all further actions on the said commercialization.
While presenting the motion, the lawmaker said on 21 February, 2017 Shorefac Consortium Limited made a proposal of a business model to the Ministry of Defence that would deliver 100 fast boats to the Nigerian Navy, together with an offer of maintenance support, all at no cost to the government.
“Shorefac Consortium, in order to recoup its investments, would become a commercial partner to the Nigerian Navy in commercializing the Maritime Services Department of the Navy which would then be expected to provide security services at a cost to international oil companies and other owners and operators of offshore assets.
“Shorefac Consortium Limited has strong international affiliations; therefore engaging such a company to collaborate with a key arm of the nation’s Armed Forces will amount to commercializing its core constitutional role and cause undue exposure of the country to foreign interference.
“Funding of the Armed Forces is the priority of the Federal Government, which must shield them from all manners of commercial ventures that could put the country’s security at risk.
“Commercialization of any sector of the Armed Forces would bring about profiteering that is devoid of allegiance to national causes, and ultimately erode the core military values of order and discipline as personnel would begin to compete to be part of the lucrative commercial business,” he said.
Agbonayinma also expressed concern that the commercialization venture may be a sinister plot to indulge in the illegal diversion of Nigeria’s crude oil and liquefied natural gas to other destinations while using the Nigerian Navy as a legitimate front.
The motion passed through without dissent when the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara called for a voice vote.